Monday, September 10, 2007


First off, don't make conversation with me about Michigan football. Because I don't want to talk about it. I want to talk about it when we are 12-0, riding high, heading for the traditional OSU/UM showdown with whispers of National Championship in the air. I don't want to talk about it when we, um, UM, stink.

There. Got that off my chest.

Remember how outraged America was quite recently to find out that companies are distributing toys in the US that are full of lead and other toxins? Well, you'll be happy to know that those companies--and the Consumer Products Safety Commission-- continues to take care of this issue quite handily while not suffering at the bottom line.

The CPSC is thrilled to approve of the export of those poisonous toys to other countries, and is doing so on a regular basis for 13 years. In fact, 96% of corporate requests to export toys that have failed the US's safety regs were approved. That means all those lead-filled (or otherwise unsafe) toys are now in the hands of children in countries who have lesser safety standards than we do.

How do these people sleep at night, these government officials and business folks who pass the buck to make bucks at children's expense? Perhaps some of these people are among the bulgingly overpriced CEOs Barbara Ehrenreich writes of in her scathing brief Labor Day commentary.

Speaking of bureaucracy not caring about children, it doesn't much care about their mother's either. Sophie Currier has apparently finished med school at Harvard, completing the process despite being a pregnant dyslexic woman with ADHD. You'd think that, having made it through those hurdles, she'd be home free. Nope, not with the Board of Medical Examiners blocking her way.

What does Sophie want? She wants extra time during the test to pump breastmilk for her 4 month old. The BME says no. She can pump during the alloted break time in the glass-walled monitored testing room. Apparently there's no one on the BME who has actually had children and nursed them--or even had a spouse nurse them. Try to take a 9 hour test with only one 45 minute break to eat, pee, and pump in public? Maybe they should also require that she walk a tightrope and breastfeed while doing so.

Come on. It makes my breasts hurt just thinking about going for 9 hours with just one pumping session with the amount of milk one would be producing for an exclusively breastfed four month old. Can you say rock hard you'll have an infection by the next AM because you didn't empty those puppies out?

And, while once I'd given birth, modesty was no longer an issue--could've pumped out on Michigan Avenue without concern--not everyone feels the same way. For pumping to work, you have to be able to relax for the "let down" reflex to happen. Milk won't come out otherwise. Sounds really relaxing, pumping in a glass room with a monitor watching, doesn't it?

Oh, there's so much more to talk about. My brain compared to Dick Cheney's brain. The Petraeus report (sic). Prisons getting rid of religious and spiritual books because of the ever-lurking boogeyman of terrorism. But the competency of grocery shopping calls.



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